Top Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students in India and Abroad

Scholarships For LGBTQ+ Students – In a society that is becoming increasingly inclusive and diverse, opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals to pursue higher education and achieve their desired career goals are crucial. Thus, the scholarships specifically designed for LGBTQ+ students in India play a pivotal role in supporting them to excel academically. 

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By embracing these opportunities, LGBTQ+ students can transform their aspirations into reality, contributing to a more equitable society. 

Thus, it’s crucial for aspirants to research thoroughly about available scholarships, adhere to eligibility criteria, and present their unique identities and achievements in their application forms

This article provides information on various scholarships available for LGBTQ+ students, enabling them to overcome financial barriers and thrive in their educational journey.

Importance of Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students

Scholarships tailored for LGBTQ+ students are more than just financial aid. They symbolize commitment to equality, inclusivity, and the promotion of diversity within the academic landscape. These scholarships help create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, ensuring they have the same access to quality education and opportunities as their peers.

Advantages of Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students

  1. Financial Support: LGBTQ+ scholarships provide much-needed financial assistance, reducing the burden of educational expenses on students and their families.
  2. Increased Visibility: By offering scholarships, institutions and organizations contribute to enhancing the visibility and representation of LGBTQ+ students in academia.
  3. Breaking Stereotypes: Scholarships challenge stereotypes and prejudices, showcasing that LGBTQ+ individuals are capable of academic excellence.

List of Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students 

Jyoti Prakash Scholarship and Mentorship Program

1. Name of the Provider: Buddy4Study India Foundation

Career Assessment Test

Eligibility Criteria:

  • This is open to students with disabilities, transgender students, first-generation learners, orphans, single-parent children, and sportspersons.
  • Applicants must be currently studying in Class 9 to 12, or pursuing graduation, or post graduation courses.
  • Sportspersons are also eligible to apply.


  • Scholarship offers financial support up to ₹24,000.
  • It covers academic and sports expenses.
  • It provides exclusive access to expert mentorship sessions provided by B4S employees.

Legrand Empowering Scholarship Program

Name of the Provider: Legrand

Eligibility Criteria:

  • This is open to meritorious girl students, differently-abled girls and transgender applicants.
  • Applicants must be pursuing their studies in the following courses:
    • B.Tech
    • BE
    • B.Arch.
    • B.Sc
    • B.Com
    • BBA including other graduation courses on finance or science etc. 
  • Special category includes differently-abled applicants, transgender students, students with single parent, and those applicants who have lost their parent(s) in the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Regular students: Up to 60% of annual course fee or ₹60,000 per year.
  • Special category students: Up to 80% of annual course fee or ₹1,00,000 per year.

Scholarship for Transgender Students

Name of the Provider: Social Justice Department, Government of Kerala

Buddy4Study - Education Loan

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The applicant must identify as Transgender.
  • The applicant should be a resident of Kerala.
  • The applicant must be studying in State Government, Government aided, or Self-financing schools/colleges.
  • The applicant’s course level should range from class 7 to postgraduate studies, including diplomas and degrees.
  • There is no income limit criteria.

Awards: Financial assistance is provided to transgender students based on their academic level:

  • For Transgender Applicants in 7th to 10th standard: ₹1000 per month for 10 months.
  • For Transgender Applicants in Plus One & Plus Two: ₹1500 per month for 10 months.
  • For Transgender Applicants pursuing Diploma/Degree, post graduation, or professional courses: ₹2000 per month for 10 months.

SMILE – Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated an umbrella scheme SMILE, an acronym that stands for Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.

Name of the Provider: Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India

Scholarship Categories:

  • Scholarships for secondary school (9th & 10th) Transgender applicants.
  • Scholarships for senior secondary (11th & 12th) education.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must hold a transgender certificate issued through the National Portal for Transgender Persons of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • The scholarship is open to Indian nationals only.
  • Candidates should not be a recipient of any other central or state government funded pre-matric/post-matric scholarship. 
    • No scholarship will be granted if applicants are recipient of another scholarship/stipend.
  • Candidates can accept free lodging, grants, or ad-hoc monetary assistance from the State Government or other sources for expenses in addition to the scholarship amount.


  • Post-matric/Pre-matric scholarship: ₹13,500 per applicant for eligible transgender students.

Centrally-Sponsored Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarships for Transgender Students 

Name of the Provider: Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India

Eligibility Criteria:

  • This scholarship is available to Indian nationals only.
  • Scholarships cover post-matriculation or post-secondary courses in recognized institutions, except for certain courses on Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and Private Pilot License.
  • Candidates must hold a Transgender Certificate issued through the National Portal for Transgender Persons of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • Candidates should not be recipients of any other central or state government funded Pre-Matric/Post-Matric Scholarship.
  • Students pursuing studies through correspondence or distance education are also eligible.

Income Criteria: Scholarships are available to students whose annual income of their parents/guardians from all sources does not exceed ₹2,50,000.

Awards:  The scholarship includes the following maintenance allowance for both day scholars and hostellers.

  • Day Scholars – ₹550
  • Hostellers – ₹1200

Note:- For detailed information on the eligibility criteria, please visit the official notification released by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Centrally-Sponsored Scheme of Pre-Matric Scholarships for Transgender Students 

Name of the Provider: Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, GOI

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students should have shown symptoms of gender dysphoria as per the declaration of their parents or guardians. The income of the parents or guardians of the transgender applicants should not exceed ₹2.50 lakh per annum.
  • The transgender student should not be a recipient of any other scholarship funded by Central/State Governments or UT Administration.
  • The transgender applicants should be a regular and full-time student studying in a Government School or in a School recognized by the Central/State Board of Secondary Education.
  • Scholarships for applicants pursuing their studies in any class will be available only for 1 year. If a student has to repeat a class, they will not get the scholarship again.

Income Criteria: Scholarships will be paid to students whose annual income of their parents or guardians from all sources should not exceed ₹2,50,000 per annum.

Awards: The scholarship includes the following monthly allowance for scholars and hostellers for 10 months, along with a one-time grant for the complete duration of the course.

  • Scholars: ₹150
  • Hostellers: ₹350

Note:- For detailed information on the eligibility criteria including others, please visit the official notification released by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Acorn Equality Fund Scholarships

Name of the Provider: Acorn Equality Fund

Eligibility Criteria:

  • LGBTQ students residing in Illinois excluding Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties are eligible.
  • Scholarships offered are based on the following needs: academics, financial requirements, community service, commitment to public health, and political advocacy.
  • Applicants are required to provide personal information, three references.
  • They should write two essays, one specific essay on scholarship and another a personal essay.


  • Scholarship amount ranges from $1,000 to $4,000.

Note:- To apply for the scholarship, candidates must fill out the application form.

PFLAG Chapter Scholarship Programs

Name of the Provider: PFLAG Chapter Scholarship Programs

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students interested in PFLAG scholarships should explore their local or state-level chapter’s specific scholarship details.
  • Eligibility requirements and scholarship specifics may differ based on the respective chapters.


  • Scholarship awards from PFLAG chapters start at a minimum of $1,000.
  • Additional support for the LGBTQ+ students and allies in pursuing their education.

Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students – Useful Tips on Application Process 

  1. Thorough Research: Students are advised to research scholarship opportunities well in advance and understand their eligibility criteria.
  2. Application Documentation: Prepare all required documents, including academic transcripts, LGBTQ+ identity proof, and recommendation letters.
  3. Showcase Achievements: Highlight academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and community involvement in the application.
  4. Authenticity Matters: Applicants must reveal sincerity and authenticity in their application emphasizing their personal experiences and aspirations.

Important Links on Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students 

Scholarships Important Links
Jyoti Prakash Scholarship and Mentorship Program
Legrand Empowering Scholarship Program
Scholarship for Transgender Students by the Government of Kerala
SMILE – Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons
Centrally-Sponsored Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarships for Transgender Students
Centrally-Sponsored Scheme of Pre-Matric Scholarships for Transgender Students
PFLAG Chapter Scholarship Programs
Acorn Equality Fund Scholarships

Scholarships For LGBTQ+ Students – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can LGBTQ+ students at all academic levels apply for the scholarships?

Yes, there are several scholarships available for LGBTQ+ students who are already pursuing their studies in schools, colleges, and higher education.

Are scholarships meant for LGBTQ+ Students limited to specific fields of study?

No, scholarships targeted at the LGBTQ+ students are available in several academic disciplines.

Can overseas applicants pursuing their studies in India apply for scholarships meant for LGBTQ+ Students?

Some scholarships may have provisions for  overseas applicants, but it is always better to verify the specific eligibility criteria.

Are LGBTQ+ scholarships offered only by NGOs and foundations?

A4: While many scholarships are offered by NGOs, some universities and institutions including government departments provide LGBTQ+ scholarships.

Are LGBTQ+ scholarships exclusively available to Indian nationals only?

A5: Eligibility criteria may vary, but some scholarships are open to LGBTQ+ students of Indian origin living abroad.

How can LGBTQ+ students ensure their privacy and safety while applying for scholarships?

Many scholarship providers prioritize the safety and privacy of applicants using secure online application methods and processes.

Do LGBTQ+ scholarships cover tuition fees only?

The coverage, benefits and rewards on offer vary as per the scholarship criteria. Some may cover tuition fees including other expenses, while others might also include accommodation and living expenses


  1. Source of Information: Buddy4Study app compiles details on scholarships/fellowships from government websites and private scholarship sources. Links to the official sources accompany each listing detail pages.
  2. Non-affiliation: The Buddy4Study app is not associated with any government entity in India or elsewhere. When featuring government scholarships, we rely on publicly accessible information from central and state government websites in India.

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